Customers Expect More From Businesses Than Ever Before
As a business owner, you are constantly facing the struggle to impress customers and give them everything that they want. But, this is becoming more difficult because customers wants and requirements for businesses that they buy from grow every year. For larger companies, it’s easy or at least manageable to meet these requirements. For instance, customers often are hoping for fast turn around and demand products in a matter of days. This has reached the point where Amazon may now deliver a product on the same day of purchase in certain locations, for a fee of course. The massive online seller has even been exploring drone deliveries which could play a huge role in the e-commerce business models of the future.
Still, it is important to ask what new requirements customers have when they seek out a company and how businesses can essentially rise to the challenge. You won’t be surprised to learn that a lot of the issues here can be solved by the new tech on the market.
Those customers seeking out products and services on the entertainment industry are searching for one thing above all else. They want immersive experiences, in marketing, gaming and even movie experiences. This is the cause of the rise of 3D, 4K, AR and most recently, VR. A film currently shaking cinema screens is Ready Player One. The entire concept of the film is based on a fully virtual world that people can interact in and experience like a new reality. While we’re not there, researchers are exploring these types of possibilities.
Indeed, Ernest Cline, the original author of the story, has claimed he has been called in by tech experts as a consultant of how this type of tech could work and evolve in the future. It’s already on the market today in its infancy, and it’s growing at a rapid rate. Today, for instance, you can turn your head in a virtual world, and your view will shift as it would, in reality, creating a type of immersive experience.
It’s not just gamers who are latching onto this tech and offering it to consumers, not should it be. If VR does grow and becomes something as common as television sets, then marketers and companies will need to look at it as a way to provide customers with the immersion they seek. Marketing would be an obvious use for the tech, and it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the biggest companies are looking at a way to incorporate promotion into current VR experiences. Expect that idea to grow in the future.
Faster Than Ever Before
We’ve already mentioned the way in which customers expect services and products without delays, but it’s worth expanding this idea and looking at what you can do to incorporate this concept in your business model. You do need to think about the home hub of your business online. Without a doubt, this is your company website. The company website, needs to be fast, responsive and ideally suited for expansion. This is why you need to be careful about the team or individual you use to design and set up your site. If it is built from scratch, you will always need to use that company to make improvements.
The good news is that working with a website application development company, you can create exactly what customers want. You can give them a hub online that is fast, effective, efficient and somewhat unique to your company. Indeed, with the right team, you’ll be add a wide range of different uses to your website including connecting it to the cloud or even using it as a fully functional database. This is the modern state of business websites online. It’s all about giving customers more than they expect as rapidly as possible.
Does this cost a lot and will it put small companies at a disadvantage compared to other businesses on the market? Unfortunately, the company with the larger chequebook always has an advantage on a global markup. But the type of software and applications that we’re talking about here are available for a wide range of different companies, rather than just the major players in the business world. As such, small businesses can still make changes like this.
Of course, one of the ways that you can save money is through automation and customers don’t just want this they expected it. Customers are quickly learning that business teams are no longer as fast as they used to be. Most roles are now outsourced completely with teams half a world away who may not even have the same first language as the customers ringing for advice and support. We’ve homed in on customer service operators, but this is true for a wide variation of different areas of the business model.
Automation is the answer to this issue, but there is a catch. If you are going to automate areas of your business model, you do need to make sure that you are using an effective system. There are plenty of inferior automated platforms and software available on the market that will do nothing but destroy the rep of an otherwise solid company.
Make sure that you are researching automated systems that work otherwise businesses need to prepare for a lot of customer complaints. Of course, if you are moving to an automated system, you will always get some complaints. Customers typically speaking hate change and will implore companies to avoid it where possible.
Most small companies do die. In fact, recent research suggested that four in ten small companies die within four years. Why is this? What exactly are customers seeking that these customers can’t provide? Cheaper prices are certainly a consideration here. Amazon killed the high street because they were able to offer the same products at a lower cost that high street shops simply couldn’t keep up with. Customers have come to expect cheaper products unless of course, it’s a specialized item. Some businesses have managed to beat this trend like certain tech companies such as Apple. They can charge whatever they want for products and customers will buy. Most companies, however, do need to look at how to keep their costs low so that they can drop their prices to meet customer demand.
We’ve already touched on some of the best ways to do this. But for smaller businesses, the answer is going to be flexibility. Small companies are perfectly suited for the flexible business model and should capitalize on this opportunity. For instance, there’s no reason a small company needs an office at all, and most of the staff can actually work from their own home. Hiring freelancers is another way that you can keep the business model breezy and adapt to the growing demand of low costs from customers.
Lastly, customers constantly expect businesses to interact and essentially show some skin. Basically, they want to see who they are buying from and small businesses have the advantage here. They can essentially, put a name on the product and help customers feel more connected within their business model. If you are looking for the easiest way to do this, make sure that you hire a social media manager who knows how to have a little fun with your customers. By doing that, your business can go viral and get a lot of attention online. You can see an example of what we mean from the tweet below.
Public service announcement:
1. Pop-Tarts are not ravioli
2. Pop-Tarts are not sandwiches
3. There will never be a Tide Pod flavored Pop-Tart
Have a nice day
— Pop-Tarts (@PopTartsUS) March 6, 2018